White Chocolate and Berry Tart.

I wanted to take a couple of tarts with me to the snow this weekend, so I thought a nice frangipane tart is always a crowd pleaser. White chocolate and red berries is a natural match and would also go superbly with the frangipane mix.

1x Pie shell (21cmx2.5), par-baked

2Cups Berries (I used Raspberries and Boysenberries)
60g White chocolate
2Tbs Cream
1tsp Rosewater
150g Butter, unsalted
150g Caster Sugar
175g Blanched Almonds, ground
2x Eggs, lightly beaten

Melt chocolate and cream in a bain-marie until combined, remove from heat and add rosewater.
Brush over tart shell. Chill until set.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Fold in almonds and eggs.
Spread frangipane mix over the chocolate in tart shell.
Place berries on frangipane mix.
Bake at 180C for 60min.

Cosy Winter Pie

I thought of this combination after stumbling across a recipe for Gajar Halwa and thought the flavours sounded delicious. A sweet wholemeal pie shell with this wonderful carrot mix and topped with a creamy rice pudding. What a delicious comforting winter pie. As I was heading to the mountain and snow this weekend I thought this would be the perfect pie to take along. Now some might argue that Gajar Halwa is not the correct name for this dish, but that is what the internet said and who am I to argue with the internet ;)

1x Pie shell (Sweet wholemeal pastry with cinnamon)

Gajar Halwa
20g Butter
4x Cardamom Pods, lightly crushed
3 Cups Carrot, grated and packed
1x Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1tsp Rosewater
4Tbs Hazelnuts, ground
1/2 tsp Nutmeg, grated

Rice Filling
400ml Milk
65g Arborio Rice
Zest of one Lemon
1x Vanilla Pod
115g Unsalted Butter, softened
50g Sugar
2x Eggs, separated.

Gajar Halwa
Melt butter and add cardamom pods, fry for a few minutes before adding the carrot.
Fry until dry and then add the milk.
Cook for 10min or until really thick and mix begins to come off the sides of the pan.
Add the hazelnuts and cook for a couple more minutes.
Remove from the heat and add the rosewater and nutmeg.

Rice Filling
The day before...
Pour the milk into a saucepan, add rice, lemon zest and vanilla pod.
Bring to the boil, stirring.
Lower the heat and cook gently, uncovered for about 45minuites or until the rice has absorbed the milk.
Remove from heat, remove vanilla pod.
Cover the pan and leave in a cool place overnight.
The next day
Beat butter and 25g sugar together until light and fluffy, add yolks.
Mash the rice with a fork and beat into the creamed mixture.
Whisk egg whites until stiff, beat in remaining sugar and fold into the rice mix.

Assembling the pie.
Spread the Gajar Halwa over the base of the tart shell.
Pour over the rice mix and level the surface.
Bake at 180C for 30-35min until filling is set and puffed.

Cinnamon Cherry and Ginger Mousse Tart

Another delightfully winter pie, delicious dark chocolate pie case with tangy spiced cinnamon cherries topped with an intense ginger infused mousse. Perfect for a cosy night in with a chilled glass of mead.

There may look to be quite a few ingredients but it creates a earthy, tangy slightly sweet cherry mix which compliments the lightly sweet, creamy ginger mousse beautifully.

1x Chocolate pie shell, 20x5cm, baked and brushed with melted dark chocolate.

3 Cups Cherries (Sweet)
3Tbs Port
3Tbs Water
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 Star Anise
2 Cloves
Pinch Salt
6 Twists Pepper (from grinder)
1Tbs Treacle
1tsp Red wine Vinegar
1tsp Rosewater
1tsp gelatin/agar

4cm piece Ginger root, peeled and grated.
300ml Cream
1tsp Ginger powder
1Cinnamon Stick
2Tbs Sugar
2 Eggs, separated

Day One
Combine cherries, port, water, cinnamon, star anise and cloves in a saucepan, simmer gently for 10min.
Add salt, pepper, treacle and vinegar, simmer for a further 5min.
Whisk in rosewater and chill over night.

Combine cream, ginger root and ginger powder in a saucepan and heat very gently for 20min.
Pour into a glass jar with a cinnamon stick and chill overnight to infuse.

Day Two
Drain the liquid from the cherries into a saucepan and heat gently, dissolve gelatin and then add cherries. Leave to cool.
When cool pour into pie shell and chill for an hour.

Pour the ginger infused cream through a sieve, add egg yolks and beat until light and fluffy.
Beat egg whites until soft peaks form, add one tablespoon of sugar at a time and beat until smooth and glossy.
Fold egg whites through ginger cream 1/3 at a time.
Pour onto chilled cherry mix and chill for a further few hours or overnight.